My aplogies for the sudden change in url, here the WBSD post that originally got published elsewhere but taken down for personal reasons:
… a journey down memory lane.
When my husband and I moved to Prague (Czech Republic) in fall / autumn of 2008 a journey down memory lane began for me. Being born in Germany, but having lived for 10+ years abroad, it was a bit like coming home for me. Coming home to a cultural environment that seemed utterly familiar to me, with one exception – the language!
Prague and the Czech Republic is in many sense very much like the semi-rural Germany I grew up in some 20 30 40 years ago. Especially “feel-able” is this to me during holidays like Christmas. Christmas in Prague is a bit like the Christmas at home when I was a child, apart of the carps, but more to the fishy bits later. 😉
Christmas in Prague starts late
Really, there is barely any Christmas merchandise and decoration around before the beginning of November. A nice change to the UK where I could see the first “Xmas products” sometimes as early as the end of August! Christmas takes really of here in the Prague with the beginning of advent, fairy tale Christmas markets in the snow (hopefully!) included!
Christmas is on the right day again
Christmas in Prague, like in Germany, is divided into three days: 24th Christmas Eve with presents under the Christmas tree, a huge family meal and for a lot of people Midnight Mass in church. The first day of Christmas (25th) is dedicated mainly to recover from the huge meal of the previous evening and families with smaller kids prefer often to go to church this day as services are a bit more children orientated and at a time smaller children are still awake and not “grumpy” because of being over-tired. The second day (26th) is often dedicated to visits and parties amongst family and friends. It is the last chance to get all these high caloric Christmas cookies eaten before you are stuck with them for the rest of the year! Nothing anymore with getting your presents one day to late! Oh, before you wonder, yes, the Czech Republic is one of the most secular countries in Europe but still, midnight mass / church service is still a stable part of the Christmas celabrations of many families, expats and Czech alike.
Like in my native Germany Christmas cookies are here a deadly serious affair. Deadly because of the incredible amount of calories in each cookie / biscuit and serious because it is a matter of housewifely pride to produce as many different varieties as humanly possible and at least one variety more as your next door neighbor! Only one problem, everybody does it, so getting them “under the people” and eaten is a real challenge! It is important to have a) as much different varieties as possible b) always have more then enough for everybody (running out on Christmas cookies is a Czech – and German!- housewife’s’ worst nightmare and c) get them all eaten by the end of Christmas! Serving Christmas cookies to guests after Christmas is a bad idea as by then, nobody in the whole country is able to eat one single cookie more! 😉
Typical Prague Christmas food
If there is anything like a typical Prague Christmas dish then it is fish -carp to be precisely. The last days running up to Christmas huge water tanks full with carps (see images below) appear in the streets and the blood of the freshly killed fish is running down the gutters of the streets -literally. (no photos of that one, for the sake of the more sensitive ones of my readers!) What reminds me of a carp Christmas story from my own childhood: My father, a big angler before the Lord brought home one day, shortly before Christmas, a living carp. As he wanted to keep the fish as fresh and tasty as possible he put it, still alive, into the bath tub. Now, if you ever met me you know that I try to close friendship with every living being that I come across, so no wonder, over the next days I spent more and more time with “Karpie”. I hand-fed him and soon the fish learned that when my little head poked over the bath tub rim, there was food close by 😉 “Karpie” and I became friends. On Christmas day, in the afternoon, my father explained to me that it was now time to say “Good Bye!” to “Karpie” because he would become our — diner! To cut a long story short, I threw such a toddler tantrum that the next day saw me, my Dad and “Karpie” approaching the next lake and releasing my new friend into freedom 😉 Somehow, since then, my father never agin brought a live fish home!
So I hope you enjoyed to travel with me back down christmassy memory lane, to find the next blog post in the WBSD chain, just scroll down below the images! See you and Happy Christmas!!!
The next blog post in the WBSD chain can be found at
Empty Nest Expat which is written by Karen and for all the background info about what WBSD actually is you may kindly stop by What the is WBSD?
If you like this blog post and found it helpful, why not share it with your preferred social network? Handy links and bookmarklets above ^^^ 😉